Pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of enoxaparin : implications for clinical practice

Clin Pharmacokinet. 2003;42(12):1043-57. doi: 10.2165/00003088-200342120-00003.


Enoxaparin is a low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) that differs substantially from unfractionated heparin (UFH) in its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties. Some of the pharmacodynamic features of enoxaparin that distinguish it from UFH are a higher ratio of anti-Xa to anti-IIa activity, more consistent release of tissue factor pathway inhibitor, weaker interactions with platelets and less inhibition of bone formation. Enoxaparin has a higher and more consistent bioavailability after subcutaneous administration than UFH, a longer plasma half-life and is less strongly bound to plasma proteins. These properties mean that enoxaparin provides a more reliable anticoagulant effect without the need for laboratory monitoring, and also offers the convenience of once-daily administration. Clinical studies have confirmed that these pharmacological advantages translate into improved outcomes. There are important pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic differences between enoxaparin, other LMWHs and UFH, and therefore these molecules cannot be regarded as interchangeable.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Biological Availability
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Enoxaparin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Enoxaparin / pharmacology
  • Enoxaparin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Renal Insufficiency / metabolism


  • Anticoagulants
  • Enoxaparin